ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., - The indoor season for the University of North Carolina track and field teams concluded today at the NCAA Indoor Championships. The men's team finished in a tie for 45th with four points and the women's team was unable to register a point.
"The indoor season as a whole has been a huge success for our program," North Carolina head coach Harlis Meaders said. "We are going through some growing pains that are difficult right now but they will help us in the future. I believe that we have the ability to be among the top 25 programs in the country; we simply have to get it done.
The four-man team earned All-America status with a fifth place finish in the 4x400 meter relay. The men set the second-best time in program history at 3:06.49, just 0.13 seconds off the school record and 0.44 seconds better than what they ran at the ACC Championships. The fifth-place finish claimed the only four points the men scored at the national meet.
Lizzy Whelan competed yesterday to qualify for today's final in the mile. She finished 10th running a time of 4:56.71.
Sarah Howard was the only field-event athlete that UNC brought to the national meet. Howard came in 14th in the women's shot put after throwing 51-11 ¼ (15.83 meters).
"Our kids earned the right to compete at the indoor championship by achieving performances that rank in the top 16 in the country," Meaders said. "We know we belong in this arena and on this stage. I am very proud of the kids and the staff. I am watching this team grow into the Carolina that we should be."
Oregon swept the meet taking first place in both the men's and women's competition. On the men's side the Ducks scored 62 points while second-place Arkansas finished with 54. Florida finished in third with 35 points and Florida State took fourth with 28. Finishing with 24 points was fifth-place Arizona.
The Oregon women's team eked out a victory over Texas by 0.5 points with Oregon receiving 44 points and Texas 43.50. Georgia and Florida were close behind and finished tied for third with 40.59. Texas A&M was able to squeak into the top five with 35 points.
The indoor season is finished for the Tar Heels but the outdoor season is just around the corner. The teams will begin their outdoor season at home with the Carolina Relays in Chapel Hill. The meet is free to attend and will begin Friday, March 21 at 5 p.m. and conclude Saturday at approximately 8:10 p.m.
North Carolina NCAA Indoor Competitors
Isaac Presson - Mile
Lizzy Whelan - Mile
Sarah Howard - Shot Put
Annie LeHardy - Mile, DMR
Karley Rempel - DMR
Lianne Farber - DMR
Cori Floyd - DMR
RJ Alowonle - 4x400
Javonte Lipsey - 4x400
Sean Sutton - 4x400
Ceo Ways - 4x400